Food & Wine Pairing Recipe of the Week – Thyme and Rosemary BBQ Rabbit

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Keeping with the BBQ theme this week, and due to the spring Rabbit population explosion around here, we thought it rather fitting to share this flavoursome recipe. Sustainable living at it’s best! Rabbit, fresh herbs from the garden and Wine all from our land. Fresh, local and good for you.

Inspired by the fabulous Jamie Oliver, this Rabbit dish is a favorite. It is very easy and if you don’t have a BBQ can just as easily be done in the oven.

Thyme and Rosemary BBQ Rabbit

Marinated and BBQ Rabbit Skewers

Marinated and BBQ Rabbit Skewers


  • 1.2 kg rabbit, preferably wild, jointed
  • 1 handful fresh thyme and rosemary, leaves picked
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • olive oil
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 4 thick slices of streaky bacon
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


Place your rabbit pieces into a bowl.

Using a pestle and mortar, or a food processor, mash or whiz up the thyme and rosemary leaves to a pulp, then add the garlic cloves and mash or whiz again.

Stir in 8 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon zest and juice and the honey, and pour this over the rabbit. Put the meat to one side and let it come to room temperature while you light your barbecue.

Time to add more flavour! Get a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme and tie them together like a little brush. Each time you turn the meat, dab it with a little of the marinade to give you a lovely encrusted layer of flavour. This rabbit is going to be really tasty!

Keeping the marinade to one side, remove the pieces of meat and season with salt and pepper. Sandwich the bacon between the 2 pieces of belly using 3 skewers. Put the legs and shoulder on the barbecue. When they’ve been cooking for 10 minutes, put the belly on. After another 10 minutes put the saddle and ribs on. Make sure you turn the meat over every so often. Look after it by controlling the temperature and basting it continuously with the marinade.

We serve our Rabbit with a fresh salad full of leafy greens and fresh spring beans. Simply delicious!


Wine Pairing – Bald Hills Pinot Gris 2010

Bright, elegant and fresh with notes of toffee, perfect matched with the smoky BBQ flavours of the Rabbit. The citrus flavours are a friendly match with the strong Central Otago Thyme  flavours in the marinade. A match made in heaven! 

Raymond Chan